Miley Cyrus doing the "twerk." Reuters
MANILA – A term referring to pop singer Miley Cyrus’ dance move is the top television word of the year.
The Global Language Monitor, which tracks and analyzes word usage trends across the globe, has released its newest list of “Top Telewords of the Year.” The list includes words currently used in four screens of today’s communications – the television, the computer, the tablet and the smartphone.
Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM, noted that “twerk” became popular after Cyrus’ much talked about performance with Robin Thicke during the MTV Video Music Awards, where she was seen jiggling her buttocks and doing provocative poses.
“Miley Cyrus’ sexually suggestive gyrations have many precedents in American popular music from Jazz, to the Jitterbug, Elvis’ swiveling hips to hip hop, and now Twerking,” Payack said.
Here are the other words that made it to this year’s list, with some notes from Payack:
- “Tread lightly” (Breaking Bad) – Walter White’s admonition to Walt had much the same effect as his earlier plans – as the world continues to swallow all around him
- “Facial profiling” (Duck Dynasty) – OK so their beards can be considered unkempt, but no more so than the rest of their lives, business and personal affairs
- “Posh Soap” (Downton Abbey) – Though heartbreak is always around the corner, the Cowley’s marshall forth
- “Valar Morghulis” (Game of Thrones) – Translates to “All Men Must Die” in the Dotharki language. What else could it possibly mean?
- “Jersey Shore” (The News/Web) – First water, then fire, what next? The unfolding saga of Seaside Heights since Superstorm Sandy
- “Honey Boo Boo” (Honey Boo Boo) – Perhaps exploitation, possibly outrageous, but she has a million references in Chinese search engines
- “Royal Baby” (The News and Specials) – The on-going Kate and Wills (and now Georgie) reality show
- “Space Jump” (The Web/News) – Felix Baumgartner leaping from the Red Bull Stratos into space
- “@pontifex” (The Web) – The official Twitter handle of one Pope Francis, Vatican City
GLM said this year’s ranking is based on a “narrative tracking technology” that analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 275,000 print and electronic news media, and social media websites such as Twitter.
It added that the words were tracked in terms of frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.
Some of the top “telewords” in previous years include “adorkable” (2012), “spillcam” (2011), “royal wedding” (2010), and “ObamaVision” (2009).